Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering 9/11

Auntie Anna's Crystal Vase
Acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010
(This is a little painting of the market
flowers I bought today from Pegann in
my great aunt's vase -- a wedding present.)

It's impossible for me to forget this day, and part of
it is the reason you're imagining. The other is that
it's the anniversary of my father's death, and he
died before the iconic tragedy of September 11.

My father died of lung cancer -- a decidedly nasty kind
caused by exposure to extreme radiation while serving with
the Royal Navy. Years later that exposure killed him.
When he died my father and I were developing the kind
of close father/daughter relationship I would have
wished for from birth onwards, but had been impossible
partially because of his military experience. Children
don't react well to orders, and this was a long, hard
lesson for my Dad.

I miss my father every single day, but I also feel
more and more with the passing of time that his
love lives on in me, in my humour, my love of art,
my love of language. Despite his awkward relationship
with his young children, he won our love and our
respect as adults.

As for the September 11 the wider public is remembering,
I am remembering that too -- how I was driving to
school when I heard the news. How I thought it was
a cruel hoax on the part of the radio show I was
listening to, how I feared for my students, and then
the eerie silence as all air travel was canceled over
my vibrant city. Visiting New York earlier this year
the devastation of that day hit me profoundly. What
brave people New Yorkers are. And I realize that
everyone who lost loved ones in that horrific
attack, felt the way I do about my father, and that
they too think of that person every single day of their
lives. My thoughts are with them.

Have an enjoying-your-family's-love day.


laura said...

Hello Barbara, Your remembrance is very touching and somehow profoundly accurate or "just" a linking of public and private.
I used to cut HS and often went to the construction site and watch the Towers go up (my father did high-rise construction in NYC and I've always found it fascinating); I was engaged in Windows on the World.
I have yet to visit Ground Zero, but should: that empty space seems impossible, unreal.

Linny D. Vine said...

Barbara, these flowers are gorgeous! Full of beauty with all of your special colors!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laura,

Your story moved me. I did not visit ground zero. But the idea of the empty space does seem impossible.
I am afraid I'd be too upset and unable to do anything else for awhile if I did see it. Plus the images of all that happened there are very much alive in my mind.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Linny,

Thanks you so much. I am loving everything you do.


Gwen Bell said...

This is such a beautiful painting...and post.

It seems so unreal that America could be attacked like that. I guess 9/11 was our generation's Pearl Harbor.

My son was living in Brooklyn at the time,saw the whole thing unfold and took some horrifying photos (he's a Photographer). He was supposed to pick up some film at the World Trade center that morning but was running late. That gives me chills every time I think about it!

Portrait Artist

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